PayPal co-founder and noted venture capitalist Peter Thiel has backed a $2.1 million seed round for crypto investment startup Layer1

Cryptocurrency investment firm Layer1 has raised $2.1 million in a seed funding round from major investors, including PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel and Digital Currency Group.

Based in California, Layer1 is a cryptoasset investment and infrastructure platform that takes concentrated bets on promising blockchain protocols and builds critical technology to support their global impact. The company has a heavy focus on programmable money and store-of-value applications, which it believes has the potential for true value creation. Led by co-founder Alexander Liegl, Layer1’s team has previous experience at the world’s leading technology companies including Google and Facebook.

Layer1 said the funding will help them in their mission to become the category-defining investment company for cryptocurrencies. The company wants to act as an engineering organization that directly engages with open-source protocol development.

“We believe that the crypto investment company of the future will look radically different to status quo, with a clear focus on an engineering-first and pro-activist investment approach,” said Liegl. “Cryptocurrencies, as open-source protocols, offer the unprecedented opportunity for companies like Layer1 to meaningfully add value. This is fundamentally different from the possibilities available in traditional asset classes.”

Layer1 is currently involved with crypto startup Grin, an upcoming cryptocurrency project focused on privacy, scalability, and fungibility that is built by implementing a MimbleWimble blockchain with some various optimizations. Launching in early 2019, Grin aims to be more of a currency for transacting than a store of value.

“We believe there is huge potential for a hands-on, mission-driven investor to take a concentrated position in a single cryptocurrency, and then dedicate talent and resources to significantly accelerate its development,” said Travis Scher, VP Investments at Digital Currency Group. “Alex and his team are extremely talented and we are excited to support them.”

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